Reviewed by Jennifer Martin, PhD
You’ve probably seen the headlines about how too much sleep has been linked to a higher risk of disease and death. If you are someone who always sleeps more than eight hours, the stories in these articles may have made you wonder, “Why do I sleep so much? And it’s bad for me?”
In this article, sleep experts help you understand the latest science. You will learn what happens when you sleep too much, and how it affects your health.
(Spoiler: Luckily, you have nothing to worry about.)
What is excessive sleep?
On average, most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. But that is a decision, not a rule of good health.
“When you start going in all directions, there are people who need less and less sleep,” says Chris Winter, MD, a sleep specialist and author. Sleep Method and Resting Childand Precision Nutrition’s co-author Sleep, Stress Management, and Restorative Learning.
Most upstairs (and downstairs) sleepers fall into three main categories.
1. People who need less than 7 hours of sleep
Known as Natural Short Sleepers, people with natural gifts do not need enough sleep like the average person.
An increase in the hormone called orexin helps them feel relaxed and clear in just five to six hours.
There is an important caveat here, however. Most people get less than seven hours no Natural Short Sleeves. Instead, they sleep in for a variety of reasons, from catching up on sleep to raising children to “full-time” work.
If you are no by nature he is a Natural Short Sleeper, just a little sleep means that maybe…
▶ feel like garbage the next day
▶ I won’t feel like garbage the next day—but that’s because you’re so used to the effects of sleep deprivation that you no longer remember what it’s like to be well-rested.
In addition to the above, over time, your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes may also increase.
(More on sleep and health in this article.)
2. People who need more than 9 hours of sleep
Because of their nature, Natural Long Sleepers often need 10, 11, or 12 hours to wake up. Their genetics also make them feel tired more quickly than other people.
Also in the category of long sleepers: children, teenagers, and young adults, who need enough sleep to keep their bodies growing, says Jennifer Martin, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and co-author of Precision Nutrition’s Sleep, Stress Management, and Restorative Learning.
Some prescription medications can also increase sleep time, says Dr. Martin.
“Usually the effects are reversed when the person goes off the medication, and sometimes, sleep is reduced when the person is addicted to the medication,” he says.
3. People who need 13+ hours of sleep
Some people sleep for 14, 17, 24 or more hours without the slightest disturbance, and still wake up tired.
“If you find that you are one of these people, it may indicate that a little sleep has gone wrong behaviornot really increase,” Dr. Winter says. For example, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt sleep, causing people to wake up feeling unrefreshed.
A variety of medical conditions—including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and depression—can also cause hypersomnia, which is the inability to stay awake. Narcolepsy, another form of hypersomnia, causes people to feel constantly tired, which causes them to fall asleep at inappropriate and dangerous times, such as during the day or while driving. These diseases require medical treatment.
If you think any of the above is true for you, it’s a good idea to tell your doctor.
What happens when you sleep too much?
“For ordinary people, if they are sleeping, they probably need to sleep,” says Dr. Winter.
That’s because all of our bodies have a place to sleep – which is called “homeostasis.” Get less sleep one night and your body will respond by wanting more sleep the next day. Or, you may have noticed: If you get more sleep than usual on the weekend, you may be more awake that night.
However, there are exceptions. More about those below.
(Search: Would you make a good sleep coach??)
Is sleeping too much bad for your health?
Although there are many alarming topics, it is possible that long sleep does not cause health problems. That’s because, in people who sleep more than most, it’s often because of a chronic illness, not because of it, research finds.1, 2
Sometimes, the problem is small, meaning that the health problem interferes with sleep, which increases the health problem, which causes sleep, and the cycle continues.
These health problems include:
▶ Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (which often stops breathing during sleep) and sleep apnea (which is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and falling asleep)
▶ Thyroid disease
▶ Chronic fatigue syndrome
▶ Heart disease
In the above conditions, it is important to note that sleeping too much is not recommended because they. Rather, it is a sign about they.
For example, insomnia causes people to wake up repeatedly, often for a short time, at night, which can lead to hypersomnia (sleeping too much during the day) and having a strong desire to stay in bed for more than eight hours or to fall asleep. in the evening.
Dr. “When medical conditions interfere with sleep, it takes a long time for a person to fully recover,” says Martin.
If you get more than 10 hours regularly, and you feel strong and clear during the day, that’s great! Enjoy your sleep without fear. You probably have nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, if you spend your days craving sleep – fatigue, brain fog, irritability, and tiredness – there may be a serious problem that you should check with your doctor.
(Learn more: Why people with sleep disorders swear by CBT-I.)
4 Sleeping Habits That Make You Sleep Better
If you want to get enough sleep, consider making any of these habits.
Make a shelter. When your sleeping environment makes you feel safe and comfortable, it’s easier for your brain to relax, allowing you to sleep more deeply.
Turn off the light. Your circadian rhythm responds to changes in light. For most people, in a dark room, they sleep better. If you can’t darken your room, consider trying a sleep mask that covers your eyes and blocks out light.
Adjust the temperature. In addition to light, your circadian rhythm also responds to changes in temperature, causing you to sleep when your body cools. A hot bath or shower before bed can trick your body into thinking it’s time to sleep because you’re cold. Another option: Set your thermostat to lower the average temperature by a few degrees at night.
If the heat keeps you awake, consider investing in a mattress cooler or using a fan. (Read more: Menstruation and sleep).
Consider sleeping alone. A nagging friend or an active pet can wake you up again and again, making it difficult for you to get enough sleep to rest.
(Read more: How to sleep well.)
Can more sleep prevent you from being tired?
Have you ever noticed that you are more tired when you go to bed (say, on the weekend) than when you wake up early?
There are two reasons for this.
1. Oversleeping is often caused by oversleeping
Some people sleep 10+ hours on weekends because they sleep six or fewer hours during the week.
Dr. Martin says: “One of the reasons why people get tired after too much sleep is that they are not paying back the sleep debt they got earlier. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it may take a few days to get back to normal.
2. Sleep can interfere with the sleep signal.
If you usually wake up at 6 a.m., sleeping in on the weekend disrupts your brain’s ability to release the chemicals needed to keep you refreshed, ready to kill the world.
“It has a greater effect on sleep time than the amount of sleep,” explains Dr. Winter. “The brain’s time information is getting distorted.”
Some of the signs of the period:
✅ High light is outside that sets your brain’s circadian clock
✅ The loud noise of your alarm clock triggers the release of cortisol and other warning chemicals.
✅ Conversations with housemates that encourage you to “wake up! think!”
✅ Feeling like you’re being chased as you rush out the door
Sometimes when you sleep, you freeze some or all of your brain. Some of the warning signs may not occur at all. Others, like lighting up with caffeine, happen many hours later than the brain is used to.
The result: you feel tired.
How can you tell if you are sleeping too much?
Dr. Winter says to consider this question:
During the day, if you sit down to read a book or watch a show, do you feel the urge to admit it?
If the answer is yes, it’s a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep at night, which could be a sign of a sleep disorder or sleep disorder, he says.
On the other hand, if you are getting more hours of sleep and having energy during the day, 10+ hours may just be your natural way of sleeping.
“If you sleep for a long time and feel good, don’t worry,” says Dr. Martin. “Do what you can to get as much time in bed as you want.”
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